He was born Christopher George Latore Wallace on May 21, 1972 and was popularly known also as Biggie Smalls.
When Wallace released his debut album Ready to Die in 1994, he became a central figure in the East Coast hip-hop scene and increased New York’s visibility at a time when West Coast artists were more common in the mainstream. While recording his second album, Wallace was heavily involved in the East Coast/West Coast hip-hop feud, dominating the scene at the time.
On March 9, 1997, Wallace was killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.
His double-disc set Life After Death, released 15 days later, hit #1 on the U.S. album charts and was certified Diamond in 2000 – one of the few hip hop albums to receive this certification. He has certified sales of 17 million units in the United States.
Rapper P Diddy (Sean Combs) said, remembering Biggie,
“It’s a constant thing. When it’s something like that that happens and somebody who is like music you listen to and is just a part of your motivation…It’s something that you relive, but to be honest March 9 for us is a day of celebration it ain’t really like a day of mourning.”